Day 260: Mother’s Day

It was a delightful Mother’s Day this year. Clare called around 2:30 and Andrew and Alex stopped by shortly after that. We all had a nice chat until Clare needed to get back to work.

Andrew and Alex helped plant a spiderwort (at least I think that’s what it is) that Anne Pemberton gave me this morning. We also pulled mugwort out of the bed where it was trying to take over.

We ordered from our favorite Korean restaurant, House of Milae, and for dessert had pastries that Andrew and Alex picked up at Breads Unlimited.

Andrew gave me a spiral ginger plant. They also gave me a copy of Amanda Gorman’s poem that she read at the Inauguration. Alex gave me calming tea she created.

At one point during the evening I saw a text from Clare asking if I’d seen her video. I figured I’d wait until Andrew and Alex left before checking it out. Then Dean checked his phone and showed us the video. Clare recorded herself singing the chorus of Dan Bern’s Jerusalem!

This was a memorable Mother’s Day. The only thing missing was Clare, but she nearly made up for her absence.

Days 238-245: Delightful Tybee Island

We spent a delightfully relaxing week on Tybee Island, Georgia. Much of the time I felt simply happy. Happier than I remembered feeling for a very long time. Change of scenery? Nothing hanging over my head? Lovely Airbnb? Maybe all of it combined.

I’d wake up and drink my coffee on the screened porch off the bedroom. The first morning I shared the space with a female cowbird. The other mornings I shared it with various insects. A gecko came by twice, but on the other side of the screen.

I’d putz after that and then Dean and I would explore either the island, or nearby Savannah.

We either went out (ate outside) for dinner, or Dean would cook one of the Hungry Harvest meals we brought with us. Once we brought a meal back to the Airbnb.

By the end I was rested and ready to get back home.

Day 233: Shakshuka

We were going to make pizza today. We had it for dinner yesterday and I thought that we’d used up all the tomato sauce so made another batch (just San Marino canned tomatoes cooked a good long time). We had eggs that needed to be used so I looked up a recipe for shakshuka and made that instead. It was lovely and delicious and delightful, all except for the runny whites.

I made pita bread out of the leftover pizza dough.

Day 204: Alone Time & Mezze

Dean had to go into work this morning so I had the house to myself. It was delightful.

This afternoon I spent all day in the kitchen making a few Greek dishes for dinner including avgolemono soup, something that I’ve been wanting to learn how to make ever since a friend made it for us in Pittsburgh in the 1980s. I also made pita bread, baked feta, hummus, and a lettuce Greek salad.

A few months ago Dean came into the kitchen, hungry and wondering when dinner was. I mentioned that I’d been cooking all afternoon and it would be ready when it was ready. He said something like “you always cook elaborate things”. I took it as criticism but when he said it was a compliment I let it go, although I still think he was criticizing me. Yesterday, expecting a similar remark, I said that I think that cooking is becoming a hobby. Now that I have the time to try new recipes I like to make meals whose dishes go together. He was impressed with everything last night. Delightful, but making it was delightful.

Alas no photos of dinner but a bonus delight in the way of Dr. Fauci on Dean’s computer from earlier in the week.

Day 200: 200! Plus a Few Other Delights (and one non-delight)

200

I’m on day 200! That in itself is a delight. I’m getting back to being able to recognize delights as they occur. Another delight.

ABW and Bosch

Our contractor suggested we use a company called ABW (Appliances a Better Way) when we were looking at appliances for the kitchen remodel. We did and they’ve turned out to be a good choice. We’ve had some issues with our Bosch duel fuel range. The door won’t close completely. Technicians from ABW have been out several times to try to fix it and it has never properly worked. Each time they have been out, they are empathetic with our situation as are the people on the phone when I call to tell them that the door is not closing, yet again and my trick involving rolled up dishtowels is no longer working.

The other day our oven became very slow to preheat (not preheating at all on bake or convection bake, but eventually preheating on convection roast). I am not sure if it is related to the door not closing (I am currently using very strong magnets to keep it closed). It would seem that no matter what the setting, it would either preheat or not, but I am not an expert. I called ABW and the woman I spoke to warned me that the range was out of warranty and we’d be responsible for the service call and parts. I mentioned that I was pretty fed up with the range and was thinking of scraping it for a different brand. She said she’d check with Bosch to see if they would pay for this repair since it was less than 6 months out of warranty and it was the same problem that we’d been having since we got the range.

I didn’t expect Bosch to cover it having overheard their service representative telling one ABW technician someone must have sat on the door for it to not close. Also, according to the Internet this is a common problem for this particular range (older versions, but the same general range model). But this morning I answered a call from Bosch who said they’d be happy to foot the bill for this repair. I told them this call restored my faith in their company. Delight!

Villeroy & Boch

Dean and I were given for our wedding a lovely tray and serving platter with primitive scenes of rural life in Belgium (Design Naif) and because of that we ordered that pattern for our “good dishes” with some of our wedding cash. We still use the set for only special occasions, the rest of the time it sits in our china cabinet. I still feel delight when I look at the patterns.

For years I acquired more of the set, either as gifts from my mom who picked them up at Home Goods, or by buying them myself. About 10 years ago I bought two pans with the same pattern and they lived on top of the china cabinet until this afternoon when I moved one in order to put a planter with a trailing plant in its place. I figured I might as well use these pans more than I’d done in the past. I don’t even think I’d gotten a good look at the design until today. They made me chuckle. One depicts a woman scrubbing the floor while her husband sits at the table enjoying a bowl of soup while the family cat sits on the table. The other is a little better, but even though the man is cooking something in the wood-fired oven, the woman is still working. At least the cat is off the table and warming itself by the fire.

Not a delight

I’ve decided to try to cook a recipe from my original Moosewood Cookbook each week and provide a rating in stars (0=inedible; 1=edible but won’t cook again without modifications; 2=Ok; 3=Good; 4=Excellent, will make again often). I’ve not yet rated anything as 4 yet. This week we had an excess of peppers and the remaining ingredients for a recipe I’d been meaning to try: Bulgarian Pepper and Cheese Delight. Don’t search for it on the Internet — you’ll only find Katzen’s updated version Bulgarian Pepper and Cheese Casserole.

Even though the name of this dish includes the word “delight” the finished product did not delight me, although all of the ingredients I used are things I like. The just didn’t work well together. The cheese topping didn’t blend with the onion/mushroom/pepper layer and neither blended with the bulgur layer. We ate most of the dish, but didn’t save what was leftover. I’m giving it a 1.5 star rating.

Day 195: Andrew, Alex, and Unnifetapasta

Earlier in the week I noticed internet articles and Instagram posts about a baked feta pasta recipe that was going viral on TikTok. I thought, “I like feta, I like tomatoes and I like pasta, therefore I will like this.”

I bought way too much feta and way to many grape tomatoes and asked Alex in a text if she and Andrew would like to come over for dinner soon to try this out. Either way I was planning on making it.

Andrew and Alex were able to come to dinner on Friday so I made it.

It was good, but not over the top good like I’d expected. Andrew said it was “solid” and Alex said it was good. Dean said it was good, but slightly dry (I didn’t add pasta water).

No matter, at least I saw Andrew and Alex again.

I took no photographs. The one at the top was stolen from the Internet.

Here’s the original recipe (pre-TikTok) and here’s the recipe I followed (although I added two small shallots and used jarred Calabrian peppers instead of the chopped chile peppers).

Day 166: Fast Internet and a Galette

With Dean working from home and on virtual conference calls much of the day we needed to upgrade our Internet speeds. The technician came out today and now our pages load like we live in the 21st century and our video calls do not become Max Headroom remakes. Delightful!


Several years ago Clare introduced me to Humboldt Fog cheese. I wasn’t sure at first, but I grew to love it. I bought some at Costco a while back and Dean and I knew that we needed to do something with the half pound we had left or be ready to throw it away in the not-so-distant future. Dean suggested he cook something up with the cheese and some sorry looking mushrooms involving some sort of pasta. A couple of days went by and Dean had not produced the pasta meal so I looked up recipes involving this lovely cheese. I settled on a Mushroom and Goat Cheese Galette.

Never having made a galette before I was a little concerned, especially in respect to the making of the pastry. I needn’t have worried because the recipe’s pastry was easy and delightful to work with.

The finished product was an absolute delight, especially since I was able to use up three ingredients from the fridge that were on the brink of spoiling.